by MONITOR The US Congress passed the Bill authorising the administration's fiscal stimulus package; however, Republicans refused to support the Bill, claiming it was too costly and wrongly directed. On the eve of a visit to Afghanistan by RIchard Holbrooke, President Obama's special envoy to that country, the Taliban attacked three government buildings in Kabul killing 30 people. Wildfires continued to burn in Australia, killing at least 180 people and causing extensive damage to property and nature. In many cases the fires moved so quickly and unpredictably that people were caught leaving their homes or in their cars. In Israel the parliamentary election was almost a deadheat between Kadima (28 seats) and Likud (27 seats). There were calls for the early formation of a government of national unity rather than the usual time-consuming coalition building.